6 Industries Disrupting Their Markets by Uniting Master Data Management and Internet of Things

Master Data ManagementData is the lifeblood of every organization today. The flood of Internet of Things (IoT) data means organizations are dealing with data streaming at breakneck speed. However, the struggle for organizations is not in collecting IoT data, but how they can make that data meaningful and useful. And more importantly, actionable. When master data management unites with IoT, that powerful combo plays a key role in helping companies make IoT data actionable.

IHS forecasts that the IoT market will grow from an installed base of 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 2025. Across industries, streaming data coming from IoT devices lands on top of nearly every discussion board. And regardless of which industry you’re in, harnessing this data, making sense out of it, and gaining real-time insights prove to be huge challenges.

Master data provides much-needed context for IoT data (and all other data, of course). With the right context, the insights derived from IoT data are both meaningful and actionable.

For example, within the master data management discipline, “things” are recognized as a domain. So you can create a master definition of “things” that can be used across the enterprise. What does this mean for organizations? It means they can improve product performances, avoid outages by taking preventive steps at the right time, gain greater insights about customer behavior, reduce costs, and increase speed to market.

This intersection of MDM and IoT creates interesting use cases that can help companies across industries. Here are six industries that are benefitting from this combo already.


Automotive companies see a huge benefit from MDM and IoT. They can use MDM as a way to centralize their customer and vehicle information. This allows them to deliver the best customer experience for their customers. How? They can track and understand the complete vehicle life cycle, which helps them:

  • Detect any anomalies in the cars their customers are driving
  • Identify parts that need replacement in real time
  • Send notifications to their car owners

So, what does this mean in terms of actionable insights? They can anticipate their customers’ needs and fix vehicles before they break down. It’s a win-win situation for both companies and customers. See how Renault is integrating the voice of the customer.


In a ComputerWorld article, I shared a story about GE Aviation. GE manages owner, operator, and engine information in their MDM solution to connect streaming data generated from the engines that power flights around the world. Since the aircraft tail number and engine position help identify the engine’s performance data, MDM can relate the tail and position of the plane to the engine serial number (ESN). This allows GE to link all the constituents together and get a complete, up-to-date picture of the engine’s current performance status.

An early repair of the engine may make it expensive for GE to operate, while a delay may cause flights to break down, potentially causing life-threatening situations. Given a flight takes off every two minutes somewhere in the world, it’s critical for GE Aviation to understand the location, the operators, and the performance of the engine, so they can make the best decision based on the insights their data provides.

Oil & Gas

Wellheads are the most valuable assets of oil and gas companies, many of whom are at the brink of the IoT revolution. Every wellhead today is geared with sensors that analyze different aspects of its performance. And in order to derive actionable insights about their performance, it’s critical to connect that streaming data to core information about the wellhead and its location (often geo-spatial). MDM helps these organizations create a cross-enterprise instance of wellhead master information. It captures and manages the relationships between the wells, equipment, employees, and sites.

By connecting the streaming data to master data, oil & gas companies can complete safety inspections in a timely manner, drive real-time processes around maintenance and production planning, and make accurate investment decisions. You can learn more about MDM in the oil and gas industry in this blog, “Master Data Management in Oil and Gas Industry.”


For utility companies, smart meters come to the rescue by measuring customers’ consumption more accurately and at more frequent intervals. By connecting customers, the meters they have installed, and the data generated from those meters, utility companies can gain better visibility into customers’ monthly consumption patterns. In turn, they can share this information with their customers to raise environmental awareness and inform new ways to conserve energy, thereby reducing the customers’ utility bills. In turn, this helps utility companies reduce labor costs because there is no manual intervention required.


Success in logistics industry relies on smooth flow of operations and reduction of underutilized resources to maximize profits. In order to meet consumer demands, logistic companies aim to deliver transparency, reliability, and trust. IoT helps to establish effective shipment tracking, ensure timely deliveries, minimize theft, and prevent tampering.

Logistics and delivery firms track traffic and weather patterns to develop more efficient delivery routes that get packages to customers’ doors quicker and more reliably if they combine sensor data from tracking devices with customers’ product and supplier data managed in MDM.

MDM and IoT help organizations address delivery issues such as bad weather, rerouting of delivery for cost savings, finding better flights to ship freight, etc. This helps them become more efficient and provide better service to each customer.

Real Estate

Understanding the location, current market conditions, and property values are critical for real estate companies. By combining data from backend building management systems, Internet of Things sensors, public data, and other sources, real estate companies can gain massive insights to inform their entire decision-making process, from start to finish, including:

  • Selecting sites
  • Overseeing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to know when to repair an aging system vs. replacing it
  • Monitoring lighting and energy consumption
  • Managing security and improving workplace design
  • Using information on where people sit and how often rooms are used to determine floor plans and how many conference rooms are needed

Learn how JLL leverages master data to disrupt the real estate industry.

All these data-driven decisions and processes lead to better portfolio management of multiple properties and allow real estate companies to efficiently manage their properties remotely, with tremendous cost savings.

I’d love to hear about innovative IoT trends you’re watching and how IoT and MDM uniting can benefit organizations within your industry. Know someone who should weigh in? Share this blog with them, tag me on Twitter @MDMGeek, and leave a comment to continue the discussion.